Portsmouth is Hampshire’s second largest city, and the UK’s only island city, so as you might expect it is big and bold and vibrant and full of life.
This is not a place to visit if you are looking for a peaceful countryside retreat, but if you want somewhere with a bit of life and soul (a lot of life and soul!) then Portsmouth is where you should go.
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Located on England’s south coast, Portsmouth boasts theatres, live music venues, art galleries, museums, two cathedrals, nightclubs, restaurants, and even a number of different festivals, depending on what time of the year you decide to visit.
Portsmouth itself was founded in 1180 by merchant Jean De Gisors. He could see the importance of the location regarding a port there, so he built a town around it for his workers to make it easier for them to work the long, hard days he wanted them to. A market soon sprang up and eventually other merchants moved in and the town expanded.
Portsmouth Historical Dockyard, the Portsmouth Museum, the D-Day Museum, Spitbank Fort, Gunwharf Quay (for shopping), and Cumberland House Natural History Museum are just a few of the many and varied activities to experience and places to visit in this most astonishing of cities.
Ferries and cruises from Portsmouth
|Portsmouth Caen||3 daily||5¾ hours||See prices °|
|Portsmouth Cherbourg||10 weekly||3 hours||See prices °|
|Portsmouth Le Havre||1 daily||15½ hours||See prices °|
|Portsmouth St Malo||1 daily||8¾ hours||See prices °|
|Portsmouth Bilbao||3 weekly||23½ hours||See prices °|
|Portsmouth Santander||3 weekly||23½ hours||See prices °|
|Portsmouth Guernsey||12 weekly||7 hours||See prices °|
|Portsmouth Jersey||12 weekly||8½ hours||See prices °|
|Portsmouth Cherbourg||1 weekly||5 hours||See prices °|
|Portsmouth Fishbourne||30 daily||¾ hour||See prices °|
|Portsmouth Harbour Ryde||24 daily||½ hour||See prices °|
This information is for reference purposes only. Journey times are approximate. Frequency is based on typical schedules. Schedules are subject to availability and weather conditions. Information correct at the time of writing.
Taster Cruise Ship Itineraries
|Cruise line||Typical itinerary||Prices|
|Portsmouth Ports such as Cherbourg; Guernsey; Le Havre; Amsterdam; Zeebrugge; Bremerhaven; Rouen; Guernsey; Brest||See prices|
This information is for reference purposes only. Information correct at the time of writing.
Top 3 Cruise & Ferry Deals
- DFDS Amsterdam mini cruise from £69pp
- DFDS Amsterdam mini cruise and hotel stay from £147pp
- DFDS Copenhagen to Oslo mini cruise from £27pp
To find other ports near you, take a look at the UK port map here.
Harbour Offices, Continental Ferry Port, George Byng Way, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO2 8SP, United Kingdom
Portsmouth Port sits at the end of the M275 which links to the M27 and A27 making it easily accessible from all directions.
Short term parking bays at the cruise and ferry terminals are available for picking up or dropping off passengers and their luggage.
A four-storey long stay car park is a short walk from the main ferry terminal. When I last checked in May 2016 the price was £13 per 24 hours.
Getting there by coach
National Express have a stop located at the Cruise & Ferry Terminal at Portsmouth International Port, a few steps away from the terminal.
Route 203 connects Portsmouth International Port to Heathrow Airport. This stops at Fareham, Southampton, Winchester and Basingstoke.
Route 303 connects Blackpool with Weymouth via Bolton, Liverpool, Chester, Manchester, Stoke-on-Trent, Birmingham, Oxford, Southampton, Portsmouth International Port, and Bournemouth amongst others.
Getting there by train
Portsmouth & Southsea Rail Station is a short distance away from the port. You will most likely need to catch a local bus or a taxi to the port unless you are travelling really light and fancy a lengthy walk.
Services typically run to Littlehampton, Portsmouth Harbour, London, Brighton (East Sussex), Southampton, and Cardiff. Journey times to Cardiff average 3¼ hours, Birmingham average 3½ hours, while London typically takes less than a couple of hours. Journeys from Edinburgh typically average seven hours with a couple of train changes. Plan your journey here.